23 East Avenue
Lockport, NY 14094 Phone: (716) 433-5935 option 3
Contact: Reference Department - 716-286-4914
Lockport had the forerunner of a public library prior to 1847 when a legislative act established the Union School system and provided for the consolidation of the seven district school libraries.
The newly organized Board of Education appointed a committee of three to supervise the library: Isaac T. Colton, William McMaster and John Woolcott. In 1847 Henry Shaft was appointed librarian, a part-time position.
For many years the Superintendent of Schools doubled as librarian. The collection was housed in his office and an assistant was in charge when the "library" was open to the public. In 1891, after some years of existing in rented space in the downtown area, the library was given first floor space in the new Union High School on East Avenue.
In 1892 the Board of Education adopted a resolution that the Lockport Public Library should continue as a free circulating library. John A. Merritt, William Richmond and Harrison S. Chapman were chosen as trustees and a charter was obtained from the Board of Regents dated February 9, 1893. This charter incorporated them and their successors who were to be appointed by the Board of Education once each year for a term of three years.
Starting with a collection of about 4,300 books and an income of a few hundred dollars a year, the library was circulating 20,000 books annually by 1900 and 36,000 by 1910.
The library continued under the supervision of the Superintendent of Schools until 1919 when Miss Claire N. Atwater was appointed as regular full-time librarian. She was succeeded by Miss Helene Prudden in 1924.
Nioga Library System - Lockport Public Library contributes through the membership of the Nioga Library System.